Empathy Shines Bright at GWLRA During the Pandemic
February 10, 2022
The global pandemic has caused one of the largest disruptions to ever hit the workforce and left many employees questioning what they want out of their careers. Eddie Detrinidad, Senior Talent Acquisitions Advisor for GWLRA shares his views on what the pandemic has taught us about the things we value at work and ways in which companies like GWLRA are adjusting to the changing needs of their employees.
“The first thing many companies, including ours, did was to recognize the incredible toll the pandemic has taken on people’s health. At GWLRA, our managers regularly check-in on their team members and encourage them to take advantage of the company’s $400 wellness account and generous mental health account, which provides each employee up to $5000 to fund any professional support they may need.”
“Taking care of each other is a big part of what defines our company’s culture,” adds Eddie. “In my case, I arrived at GWLRA a year into the pandemic at a time when joining a new company virtually comes with its own set of unique challenges. I was immediately impressed by how many colleagues across the country reached out to welcome me and helped to ease the integration period.”
Eddie acknowledges that the pandemic has caused many people to reflect on their careers and question where they’re going. He points to the sage advice offered by two long serving GWLRA employees set to retire shortly. Both Kevin Nicholson, Vice President Finance and Neil Eckman, Senior Director, Property Management in BC, have been with the company for 41 and 17 years respectively. The pair praise GWLRA’s collaborative work environment and the diverse career opportunities available for those that assert themselves.
“One of the main reasons I stayed as long as I have is that I never got bored with my career,” reflects Kevin. “As the company grew so did the opportunities. But you need to put your hand up. You can’t be invisible. The opportunities are there but you need to assert yourself, which I believe is true at any organization.”
Neil agrees. He joined GWLRA in 2004 at a time when the company was ramping up its acquisition activity. “I started by leading GWLRA’s downtown Calgary properties. Within six months I was given an opportunity to move to BC to manage a larger portfolio. I jumped at the chance to broaden my experience and build a bigger team. It’s been an incredible ride and deeply satisfying.
When asked about career advice for colleagues or prospects considering joining GWLRA, Neil doesn’t hesitate. “The first thing I always tell people is to chart your own path. You need decide where you want to take your career. GWLRA is a great company and provides you with an opportunity to earn education credits so you can get the necessary credentials, but you need to take the initiative and show the company where you want to go.”
GWL Realty Advisors Inc. is a leading North American real estate investment advisor providing comprehensive asset management, property management, development and specialized real estate advisory services to pension funds and institutional clients. GWL Realty Advisors Inc. manages a diverse portfolio of office, industrial, retail and multi-residential assets as well as an active pipeline of new development projects.